The club advocates using violence against Republicans.
Publicly funded University of Central Florida has a “leftist fight club” that teaches progressives how to fight Republicans. This club, Knights for Socialism, is the only one like its kind that actually advocates violence:
“In response to the record number of hate crimes against Latinxs, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis, Knights for Socialism has decided to host a series of self-defense clinics for anyone that wants to learn how to BASH THE FASH,” asserts the Facebook event page for “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire.”
Judicial Watch obtained records from the school, which says the administration has not formally approved the club and still reviewing the Knights for Socialism application:
“This organization has only recently submitted their materials to become a registered student organization, they are not yet an officially recognized registered student organization,” the letter accompanying the group’s constitution states. “These documents have not been reviewed or approved by the Office of Student Involvement.”
Despite this, the club has a strong presence on social media. For the event “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire” brought in an amateur boxer “to teach basic hand-to-hand combat techniques” as a way “help the socialist students better protect themselves from potential hate crimes performed by those sympathetic to ‘Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis.'”
Campus Reform spoke with UCF College Republican Scott Benton, who stated that this desire to perform violence becomes “a natural consequence of the intellectual indefensibility of leftist beliefs.” He continued:
“If you can’t hang with someone on a debate stage, then you resort to other means to try and justify your cause.”
Parents and other students have demanded the school stop allowing this club on campus:
“I’m very disappointed that UCF has not had a reaction to that yet,” UCF College Republicans Chairwoman Karis Lockhart said by phone.
“It’s contradictory, because they’re willing to fight people for different beliefs,” UCF student Ladranicia Lynch said.
9 Investigates learned those feelings extend beyond campus. One parent wrote to admissions officials in an email that ‘if these students in this club are not expelled immediately, my son will be transferring to UF as soon as possible.’ Another man, claiming to be a student at the University of Alabama, threatened to bring a crowd to campus for a fight, writing ‘we will have ambulences (sic) on standby.’
“No one should be trying to incite violence, using force, in any way,” UCF student Stephen Rice said.
The club did not respond to Campus Reform, but they released a statement to WFTV:
“Knights for Socialism is committed to fighting for intersectional justice on campus and in the Orlando community. We stand with marginalized communities facing all kinds of persecution, whether it be because of their ethnicity, their immigration status, their gender, who they love, or the size of their income.
Knights for Socialism exists to bring together passionate students who want to take direct action to improve, protect, and serve their community.
In light of recent events on campus, around the state, and throughout the country, we’ve heard concerns from fellow colleagues who now don’t feel safe doing normal things like studying at the library. This past week, we held the first of many events geared towards improving students’ sense of safety on campus. While there was apparent controversy over the marketing for the event, we stand committed to building positive relationships with students of all ideologies. Last semester, we participated in a debate with campus libertarians, and we look forward to discussing and debating our ideas in the future.”
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